Monday, 22 June 2009

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In the House, It's Peterson vs. Climate Bill


WASHINGTON -- The fate of the leading proposal to curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions is in the hands of Rep. Collin Peterson, a Marlboro-smoking free spirit who scoffs at warnings about climate change and says the Environmental Protection Agency is "in bed with" corporations opposed to the ethanol industry.
Getty Images
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) says "something's going to have to change" in the climate bill for it to pass.
Mr. Peterson -- a Minnesota Democrat whose chairmanship of the House Agriculture Committee gives him sway over Farm Belt lawmakers -- has forced Democratic Party leaders to slow their drive to pass climate legislation and to consider amending it in ways that some environmentalists worry will lessen its effectiveness.
Mr. Peterson on Friday asked White House officials and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to intervene in negotiations between him and the climate bill's main sponsor, Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.). "I'm getting tired of going around in circles," Mr. Peterson told reporters.
Mr. Waxman has said he is "very close" to an agreement with Mr. Peterson that would clear the way for a vote on the legislation. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said the House is unlikely to take up climate legislation this week.
The resistance to the climate bill from Mr. Peterson and other farm-state Democrats has exposed divisions within the majority party over whether Congress should attempt such far-reaching and potentially costly environmental legislation at the same time it is trying to overhaul the U.S. health-care system.
Mr. Peterson, who was first elected to Congress in 1990, wants the party's leaders to soften the climate bill's impact on coal-burning power plants, scale back existing regulation of ethanol, and make other changes that, if adopted, could steer huge sums of money to farmers who engage in environmentally friendly practices.
With Republicans expected to oppose the measure en masse, the votes of Farm Belt Democrats are critical to the House climate bill's future. But some of the changes Mr. Peterson wants could make it less palatable to Democrats who are more liberal.
Mr. Peterson wants the climate measure changed to allow coal-burning power plants to get free of charge more of the permits they will be required to hold in order to generate carbon dioxide.
Mr. Peterson, who represents a rural district where 10% of the population lives in poverty, says the bill's current formula for allocating free permits would result in some states getting more permits than needed, while leaving electricity users in districts such as his facing higher energy costs.
"If they want to pass [legislation], something's going to have to change," Mr. Peterson says.
An accountant by training with a well-creased face and a fondness for cowboy boots, Mr. Peterson shows little enthusiasm for passing climate legislation. After the administration released a report last week by government scientists warning of increased heat, pests, water shortages, disease and other impacts of climate change on crop and livestock production, Mr. Peterson laughed and said farmers in his district would welcome warmer temperatures after a recent cold spell.
"They're going to be able to grow more corn," he said.
Mr. Peterson has a testy relationship with environmentalists. In May, he accused the EPA of being "in bed with the oil industry" after the agency proposed rules that could undercut the perceived climate-protection value of growing corn to make ethanol in the U.S. by counting the increased greenhouse gas emissions that would occur overseas when farmers or governments clear land to grow food in response to higher food prices.
Mr. Peterson is pushing an amendment to the climate bill that would eliminate a requirement under the law for the EPA to measure such overseas emissions, and he wants the Agriculture Department -- rather than the EPA -- to decide what kinds of agricultural practices will qualify as "offsets," activities that avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The legislation would allow businesses to pay farmers to engage in activities like injecting the soil with seed rather than plowing the ground and causing the release of carbon. The Energy Information Administration has estimated that the market for such agricultural activities could be worth as much as $24 billion annually. A recent EPA analysis suggested the market could be much smaller.—Ian Talley contributed to this article.
Write to Stephen Power at

Regulators ask how green is your advertising

By Sujata Das
Published: June 22 2009 03:00

British Gas's recent bouncing blue flame advert may have been cute, but the Advertising Standards Authority, the UK advertising watchdog, ruled that its "carbon zero" claims misled the public by implying that its fuel did not produce any carbon dioxide. The claim had been a play on words - BG had offset the emissions, producing a net effect on the atmosphere of zero. But the ASA ruled that this was not made clear enough.
In a similar vein, Kmart, the US discount department store, was lambasted by the US Federal Trade Commission last week for labelling some paper products as "biodegradable" - which is unacceptable unless a product can completely decompose within a reasonably short period of time under normal disposal methods.
Companies such as ExxonMobil, and Toyota's Lexus brand, have also been accused of so-called greenwashing, having fallen foul of regulations by claiming their products are friendlier or less damaging to the environment than they really are.
As more companies try to appeal to increasingly eco-conscious consumers, they are having to navigate how advertising rules and regulations apply to their environmental claims.
"Consumers are really concerned," says Matt Wilson of the US Advertising Standards Authority's public affairs department, which gives advice to both advertisers and the public on what is acceptable. "We received a record number of complaints about green claims last year, which had more than doubled from the year before, to over 300."
A key difficulty is the abundance of pseudo-scientific terms that are often associated with ecological claims. Advertisers are being discouraged from blinding consumers with science by using jargon. Expressions such as "carbon-neutral", "low carbon emissions", "wholly sustainable", "organic" and "100 per cent recycled" sound wholesome but they are potentially meaningless unless they have been properly contextualised.
"The advice that we give clients is to make sure they back up claims with evidence, be specific and clear, and most importantly to avoid overstatements," says Jonathan Isted, head of the environment, products and regulatory practice at Freshfields, the law firm.
All-encompassing wording such as "environmentally safe", "non-toxic", "ozone friendly" or "degradable" have all been targeted by regulators.
Companies are also advised to tone down advertising claims by using wording such as "more environmentally friendly than before", "kinder to the environment" and "ecologically improved formula". Where bold statements are used, they should be qualified, for example, if the claims are not based on a product's entire life cycle.
Other potential pitfalls include the misleading use of absolute claims instead of expressing them in relative terms.
The UK's Committee of Advertising Practice, which sets out codes of practice for print and broadcast adverts, is working with the government to tighten the rules.
While EU countries and the US are trying to develop existing general advertising rules into more specific regulations covering environmental claims, Scandinavian countries have already formulated clearer guidelines. These are also more stringent. For example, Norway forbids car manufacturers from advertising that they are "green" or "clean".
One example of successful green advertising that has avoided the common pitfalls is Procter & Gamble's "Turn to 30" campaign for its Ariel laundry detergent. After formulating the product to work equally well at lower temperatures, the campaign focused on convincing consumers to switch to lower temperature cycles on their washing machines. Damon Jones, director of communication for P&G UK, believes the campaign was a hit because the product worked and the message was credible. "We don't market our 'green' products any differently to our other products," he says. "Customers can see through hype. We don't want to be accused of greenwashing."
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Smurfit takes green approach

By Michael Kavanagh
Published: June 22 2009 03:00

The offices of Clive Bowers, chief executive of Smurfit Kappa UK's corrugated division, serve as a shrine to the strength and versatility of corrugated cardboard packaging, writes Michael Kavanagh .
The company's Yate site near Bristol is where pre- perforated packaging is dispatched to customers.
Here various grades of paper are printed, fluted and glued to produce the light but robust packaging that is used increasingly not just to protect goods in transit, but also to promote at point of sale.
As an industry, European paper package makers are responsible for "planting more trees than we are cutting down", Mr Bowers says. The ability of cellulose fibre to be reprocessed up to eight times means up to 80 per cent of European corrugated boxes can be sourced from recovered paper.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Green-friendly washing machine uses just one cup of water

The Times
June 22, 2009

Peter Stiff

Hippies may not be the most frequent visitors to the launderette, but soon they will have no excuse not to wash their clothes, thanks to a new environmentally friendly washing machine — that uses only one cup of water and leaves clothes virtually dry — set to go on sale next year.
The technology, developed at the University of Leeds, aims to save up to 90 per cent of water used by conventional machines, use 30 per cent less energy and have the environmental impact of taking two million cars off the road.
The machine works by replacing most of the water with thousands of tiny, reusable nylon polymer beads, which attract and absorb dirt under humid conditions.
Only a small amount of water and detergent is needed to dampen the clothes, loosen stains and create the water vapour that allows the beads to work. After the cycle is finished, the beads fall through a mesh in the machine’s drum and can be re-used up to a hundred times.

Xeros, the company behind the technology, is aiming initially at the commercial washing market, including hotels and dry cleaners. Its chief executive, Bill Westwater, said that growing pressure on companies and consumers to cut water usage and carbon emissions should boost demand for the system.
He hopes eventually to license the technology to domestic machine makers, allowing it to enter a market expected to be worth $50 billion next year.
“We’ve got an eye on the consumer but it will take time and we hope commercial success could act as a springboard to move into the consumer market,” Mr Westwater said.
Xeros, which is demonstrating a working machine in the United States, has signed a deal with GreenEarth Cleaning, an environmentally friendly dry-cleaning business, to sell the technology across North America.
“We’ve been very encouraged by the response from people, but the proof is in the pudding and that means putting a machine into someone’s operations and justifying the savings,” Mr Westwater said.
The technology was developed over the past 30 years by Stephen Burkinshaw, of the University of Leeds, and funded in its later stages by IP Group, an intellectual property commercialisation group.
Mr Westwater said the relationship with IP Group meant that Xeros was relatively protected from the recession in terms of raising funds and was trying to attract more cash to develop the product’s bead removal process.

It takes a global effort to save the world

Nations must co-operate to improve technology and tackle climate change, rather than trying to get away with doing the minimum

Jeffrey Sachs, Sunday 21 June 2009 18.00 BST

One odd and disturbing aspect of global politics today is the confusion between negotiations and problem-solving. According to a timetable agreed in December 2007, we have six months to reach a global agreement on climate change in Copenhagen. Governments are engaged in a massive negotiation, but they are not engaged in a massive effort at problem-solving. Each country asks itself, "How do I do the least and get the other countries to do the most?," when they should be asking instead, "How do we co-operate to achieve our shared goals at minimum cost and maximum benefit?"
These might sound like the same thing, but they are not. Addressing the problem of climate change requires reducing emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, which in turn involves choices in technology, some of which already exists and much of which needs to be developed. For example, coal plants, if they are to remain a major part of the energy mix, will need to capture and store their CO2, a process called "carbon capture and sequestration," or CCS for short. Yet this technology remains unproved.
Similarly, we will need renewed public confidence in a new generation of nuclear power, with plants that are safe and reliably monitored. We will need new technologies to mobilise large-scale solar power, wind power, and geothermal power. We might try to tap biofuels, but only in forms that do not compete with food supplies or with precious environmental assets.
The list goes on. We will need improved energy efficiency, through "green buildings" and more efficient appliances. We will need to switch from cars with internal-combustion engines to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery-powered, and fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
Achieving a new generation of electric vehicles will require a decade of public and private partnership to achieve basic technological development (such as improved batteries), a more robust electric grid, new infrastructure for re-charging the automobiles, and much more. Similarly, it will take a decade of public and private investments to demonstrate the feasibility of coal-fired plants that capture their carbon dioxide.
The switchover to new technologies is not mainly a matter of negotiation but of engineering, planning, financing, and incentives. How can the world most effectively develop, demonstrate, and then spread these new technologies? Where the benefits are unlikely to accrue to private investors, who should pay for the early demonstration models, which will require billions of dollars? How should we preserve private incentives for research and development while committing to transfer successful technologies to developing countries?
These are pressing, unsolved questions. Yet the global negotiations on climate change are focusing on a different set of questions. The negotiations are mainly about which groups of countries should cut their emissions, by how much, how fast, and relative to which baseline year. Countries are being pressed to cut emissions by 2020 by certain percentage targets, without much serious discussion about how the cuts can be achieved. The answers depend, of course, on which low-emission technologies will be available, and on how fast they can be deployed.
Consider the United States. To cut emissions sharply, the US will need to switch over this decade to a new fleet of automobiles, powered increasingly by electricity. The US will also have to decide on the renewal and expansion of its nuclear power plants, and on the use of public lands to build new renewable energy plants, especially using solar power. And the US will need a new power grid to carry renewable energy from low-density population sites – such as the southwestern deserts for solar power and the northern plains for wind power – to the high-density populations of the coasts. Yet all of this requires a national plan, not simply a numerical target for emissions reduction.
Similarly, China, like the US, can reduce CO2 emissions through increased energy efficiency and a new fleet of electric vehicles. But China must consider the question from the vantage point of a coal-dependent economy. China's future choices depend on whether "clean coal" can really work effectively and on a large scale. Thus, China's emissions path depends crucially on early testing of the CCS technologies.
A true global brainstorming approach would first discuss the best technological and economic options available, and how to improve these options through targeted research and development and better economic incentives. The negotiations would discuss the range of options open to each country and region – from CCS to solar, wind, and nuclear power – and would sketch a timetable for a new generation of low-emission automobiles, recognising that market competition as well as public financing will set the actual pace.
Based on these building blocks, the world could agree on allocating the costs for speeding the development and spread of new low-emission technologies. This global framework would underpin national and global targets for emissions control and for monitoring the progress of the technological overhaul. As new technologies are proven, the targets would become more stringent. Of course, part of the strategy would be to create market incentives for new low-emission technologies, so that inventors could develop their own ideas with the prospect of large profits if those ideas are right.
My plea to discuss plans and strategies alongside specific emissions targets might seem to risk impeding the negotiations. But if we don't have a strategy to accompany our targets, the world's governments might not accept such targets in the first place, or might accept them cynically, without any intention of actually meeting them.
We need to think hard, and collaboratively, about the world's real technological options, and then pursue a common global framework that allows us to move into a new era, one based on feasible and sustainable technologies for energy, transport, industry, and buildings.
Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2009

China Activists Say Dam Will Kill Off Rare Fish


BEIJING -- Environmental advocates are warning that a planned dam on China's Yangtze River could lead to the extinction of a number of rare fish species, casting a fresh spotlight on the potential environmental costs of the country's huge hydroelectric building program.
The proposed Xiaonanhai Dam would be located 30 kilometers upstream from the center of Chongqing, a rapidly expanding metropolis in southwestern China that hopes to use electricity from the dam to meet its growing energy needs. Chinese officials are currently reviewing the project, and critics believe that preliminary approval could come as soon as the end of this month, although the timing couldn't be confirmed.
Chinese and foreign scientists are concerned that the dam would encroach on the only rare-fish reserve on the Yangtze, China's longest river. The reserve is home to 180 different fish species, including the already endangered Chinese sturgeon and the finless porpoise. It covers roughly 400 kilometers on the upper reaches of the Yangtze, which has a greater concentration of biodiversity than the river's middle and lower regions.
A group of eight prominent Chinese scientists and environmental activists published an open letter last month urging the government to cancel the plans for Xiaonanhai. "The negative impacts of overdevelopment of hydropower would destroy the river's diverse aquatic life," the letter said.
International environmental groups also are urging reconsideration of the plan. "The iconic fish of the Yangtze are slipping away," said Brian Richter, director of the Global Freshwater Program at the Nature Conservancy, an advocacy group, based in Arlington, Va. He said the Xiaonanhai Dam could spell the end of "this treasure chest of aquatic diversity."
Central government offices and officials in the Chongqing municipal government, which is promoting the dam, didn't respond to requests for comment. In February, the Ministry of Agriculture held a meeting of experts to discuss the Xiaonanhai project, according to a report on a ministry Web site. The experts concluded that the project could have a significant impact on the habitat of the fish in the reserve area and recommended steps to safeguard the habitats but stopped short of calling for an end to the project, according to the report.
China is one of the world's biggest dam builders. The government maintains that hydroelectric power can reduce China's dependence on costly fuels like coal -- the main source of China's energy -- and cut down on emissions of global-warming gases and other pollutants.
The Yangtze is already home to the world's biggest dam, at Three Gorges, and researchers have said scores of other dams are planned for the river and its tributaries.
The Chinese authors of the open letter worry that the construction of the Xiaonanhai Dam would block migration routes, turn rapidly flowing water into stagnant ponds and endanger spawning grounds.
Of the 338 freshwater fish species found in the river, 162 are unique to the Yangtze. But the population of rare and unique fish species has been declining since the 1980s because of dam building, water pollution, overfishing and land reclamation.
"Too many dams have been planned on the upper regions of the Yangtze," said Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing and one of the letter's signers.
Some critics also question the usefulness of Xiaonanhai's construction, with four other more massive dams having already been approved for construction in the Jinsha River upstream of the fish reserve.
Construction of the Xiaonanhai dam is projected to cost nearly 24 billion yuan ($3.51 billion) and take more than seven years to complete.—Sue Feng in Beijing and Bai Lin in Shanghai contributed to this article.Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A10

Supermarket suppliers 'helping destroy Amazon rainforest'

• Meat companies sued over Amazon deforestation• Accused firms supplying Tesco, Asda and M&S
David Adam, environment correspondent, Sunday 21 June 2009 18.32 BST

A three-year survey by Greenpeace shows that western demand for beef and leather and an increase in cattle ranching is leading to intensified deforestation in the Amazon Link to this video
Brazilian authorities investigating illegal deforestation have accused the suppliers of several UK supermarkets of selling meat linked to massive destruction of the Amazon rainforest. Brazilian firms that supply Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer are among dozens of companies named by prosecutors, who are seeking hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation.
The move follows a three-year investigation by Greenpeace into the trade in cattle products such as meat and leather traced to illegal farms across the Amazon region. The Greenpeace report, revealed in the Guardian earlier this month, showed that a handful of major Brazilian processors exported products linked to Amazon destruction to dozens of blue-chip companies across the world. Daniel Cesar Avelino, the public prosecutor handling the cases, brought by Brazil's Federal Public Prosecution Office (MPF), said: "We know that the single biggest driver of deforestation in the Amazon is cattle. We want all companies who are part of this destructive economic chain to be responsible for their economic crimes."
The MPF has started legal action against 21 farms and slaughterhouse companies, including Bertin, which supplies Tesco and Princes Food with processed beef. The MPF said the investigated Brazilian companies could be to blame for illegal deforestation across 150,000 hectares. It is seeking £630m compensation for "environmental crimes against Brazilian society". The accused farms include the Espirito Santo farm in Para state, which the Guardian visited in an undercover investigation with Greenpeace last month. Bertin said it was "analysing the content of the [legal] action to respond later". The MPF has also warned a further 69 firms for buying products associated with illegal deforestation, including JBS, which supplies Princes Foods, Asda and Marks and Spencer.
Bertin and JBS, the Greenpeace report said, source cattle from illegal farms, and ship the beef and hides to facilities in the south of Brazil for export. Greenpeace claims records show that cattle from hundreds of farms across the Amazon are mixed and processed in this way, making it currently impossible to trace the origins of products.
"In effect, criminal or 'dirty' supplies of cattle are 'laundered' through the supply chain." JBS would not comment. Several supermarkets in Brazil, including ­Wal-Mart, have already banned beef from deforested areas. The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets said it would cancel supply contracts with accused farms. John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said: "Major supermarkets in Brazil have promised action to remove Amazon beef and leather from their stores, and now it's time that UK companies did the same … we need to see British firms cancelling contracts with suppliers who are implicated in Amazon deforestation."
The UK supermarkets said the beef did not come from the Amazon. Tesco and Marks and Spencer said they had received assurances from their suppliers. Asda said it was sending people to Brazil to audit the supply line.
Princes Foods said: "We have contacted both suppliers to discuss the claims in detail, and they are liaising directly with Greenpeace. We will monitor the outcome of these discussions closely."
In a separate move, the World Bank said it will withdraw a $90m (£54.47m) loan to Bertin from its private lending arm, which Greenpeace says was used to expand activities in the Amazon. Bertin supplies several companies with leather for shoes, including Nike and Timberland.
A Timberland spokesman said it was "actively engaged with Bertin to better understand this very complex issue". Nike said it was meeting its tannery suppliers and investigating the supply chain. Greenpeace wants companies to refuse to buy products sourced from farms that have carried out illegal deforestation. It wants consumers to pressure supermarkets and high-street brands identified in the report to clean up supply chains.
Clearing tropical forests for agriculture is estimated to produce 17% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions – more than the global transport system. Cattle farming is now the biggest threat to the remaining Amazon rainforest, a fifth of which has been lost since 1970. The Greenpeace report compiles government records, company documents and trade data from Brazil, China, Europe, Vietnam and the US to piece together the global movement of meat, leather and cosmetics ingredients made from Brazilian cattle.

Beecycle: recycling for profit and pleasure

If at first you don't succeed with an entrepreneurial idea, try again, advises Kenneth Cheung, founder of the recycling business Beecycle.

By Widget Finn Published: 1:20AM BST 22 Jun 2009

Mr Cheung now has 12 local Lancashire schools as customers
He spent six months researching how to develop a spray to compost waste, then discovered that the microbes he planned to use were forbidden by UK legislation.
"All the time and energy spent on research was wasted, which was a big bill for a small business. I was faced with the dilemma of whether to give up and get a job – and probably never have another opportunity to start my own business – or find a different product. I chose to try again," he said.

Mr Cheung, 24, graduated from York University in 2006 with a degree in biochemistry, and spent a "gap year" planning to establish a business. "I went on a course which encouraged people to set up environmental companies. My idea was around composting – people would pay me to collect food waste which could be converted into a saleable product, compost, and I could use my biochemistry knowledge to develop organisms to produce a faster, odourless process."
In 2007 he won a business plan competition run by Lancaster University Environment Centre. The prize was £1,500 and a free incubation office at the centre for a year. "Moving to Lancaster was pivotal to the development of the business. Being based in the university meant that I got a lot of free business support from Lancaster University Management School and the IT department, and EU funding provided technical design from the engineering department."
"I found there was a market for educating the public about composting, especially as legislation will soon be introduced for household food waste recycling. I decided to develop composting products targeted at households and schools." The result was OvO, a self-composting and self-watering plantation system. Food waste is composted by worms, then seeds are planted in the compost, eventually producing more food.
"It's an ideal educational tool for schools, because kids can see the whole cycle of food and waste. Environmental education is becoming important in schools, but they don't have a good understanding of the subject. I wrote lesson plans for OvO which made it an attractive educational tool – all the preparation was already done for teachers, and it ticked all the boxes for Key stage 2."
Mr Cheung started cold-calling primary schools in Lancaster, and now has 12 local schools as customers. His next target is households, and he plans to sell the system through garden centres and supermarkets which market ethical products. He also sees consultancy as an expanding area of the business. Beecycle has built two large wormeries at Lancaster University, run by student volunteers, which composts the cafeteria food waste into a fertiliser used on an organic garden which grows vegetables for the cafeteria.
The business has already won Mr Cheung several awards, and as a finalist in the 2009 Make Your Mark awards he is now an ambassador for the event, a role he takes seriously. "Business is not just about making money, but about enjoying the process and helping people around you along the way."
 If it's appropriate, use student volunteers – they gain experience and provide lively input into the business. Reduce start-up costs by seeking out grants, awards and incubation offices, or you may be in an area which is eligible for EU funding.
DO  Network, go to events, approach people – even if you don't think they're important at the time. You never know how they or their contacts could benefit your business in the future. Go in for competitions and awards – it's free publicity, and helps you streamline business plans and ideas. Even if you don't win you come back stronger and learn from your mistakes.
DON'T  Give up if your first idea doesn't work. Try out something else.
Name Kenneth CheungCompany BeecycleFounded Oct 2007Staff Founder plus student volunteersStart-up funds £0Turnover £6,000

Sharks are serial killers of the sea, says scientists

Great white sharks hunt down their prey in the same way as serial killers, scientists have found.

Published: 7:01AM BST 22 Jun 2009

Researchers used methods copied from criminology to show that great whites pick their targets in a highly focused fashion.
Prolific killers such as Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper", behave in much the same way.

The scientists adapted geographic profiling, a mathematical technique used to track down serial criminals, to investigate the hunting habits of great whites.
They observed the location of 340 shark attacks and used the data to locate the sharks' "anchor points".
In criminal investigations, a series of linked crimes - usually murder, rape or arson - is used to determine the rough location of the perpetrator's "anchor point". Most often this is a home or place of work.
Serial killers or rapists tend to operate within a confined area around the anchor point, so knowing its location allows police to avoid being swamped with suspects and prioritise those who live or work in certain areas.
The shark scientists linked the "crimes" of great whites off the South African coast - attacks on seals - and found that the sharks had a well defined search base.
Their "anchor point" tended to be 100 metres seaward of where the seals accessed and left the island where they lived.
Smaller, younger, sharks exhibited more dispersed search patterns and were less successful hunters.
The research, led by Dr Neil Hammerschlag, from the University of Miami in the US, is reported in the Journal of Zoology, published by the Zoological Society of London.
Dr Steven Le Comber, an expert on geographic profiling at the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London, said: "Geographic profiling is an interesting new way to study patterns of animal foraging, and especially predation.
"Shark hunting patterns are extremely difficult to study and the work here will have important implications for our understanding of the ways in which predators hunt their prey."
Geographic profiling was developed by former Canadian "beat" policeman Kim Rossmo, now Professor of Criminal Justice at Texas State University.
It is extremely useful for whittling down lists of suspects and now routinely used by law enforcement agencies around the world.
In the Yorkshire Ripper case in the 1970s and 1980s police amassed a total of 268,000 potential suspect names and 4.5 million vehicle registration numbers.

Airline industry could be flying on biofuels in five years

The aviation industry could be powered by biofuels instead of traditional petrol-based products within five years, according to one of the contributors to a study backed by heavyweights including Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Virgin Atlantic.

By Amy Wilson Published: 7:03PM BST 21 Jun 2009

Sustainably produced crops have already been used in a 50:50 blend with petrol to produce jet fuel used in a series of successful test flights, and that product could be certified and ready for use within two years, Boeing executives have said.
However, a fuel made entirely from plants could be certified as early as 2013, according to Jennifer Holmgren, of UOP, the technology-licensing division of US engineering giant Honeywell.

She has worked with Boeing, engine-makers GE and Rolls-Royce and a number of large airlines including Virgin and Continental, on a study into the 50:50 blend of fuel, which will be submitted to international standards association ASTM to gain official approval for the use of biofuels in planes. That approval could come as soon as 2010.
In the 50:50 blended fuel, the biofuel element produces between 60pc and 80pc less carbon than the petroleum element, Ms Holmgren said.
It will take considerably longer for the world's entire fleet of planes to convert to using only biofuels, depending on the availability of sufficient crops to produce it.
The progress in developing an alternative to petrol-based fuel has developed faster than anybody in the industry had expected, she said, and that interest has not died away now that the oil price has come down from its record highs of last year.
"Everybody has said we have to diversify our fuel stocks, even though the petroleum price has come down," she said.
But Ms Holmgren highlighted that any alternative fuel will struggle to compete on price with petrol in the early years.
"The feedstocks are very expensive but as we build the market, more people will grow energy crops."